Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


One in five kids may outgrow asthma

01 August 2013, 10:49

As many as one in five youngsters with asthma may grow out of the respiratory condition as they age, new research indicates.

Girls and those who are allergic to furry animals, such as dogs and cats, may be out of luck, however. The study found that remission was less likely in such children.

Swedish researchers who followed more than 200 children with asthma found that at 19 years of age, 21% were in remission, meaning they had no wheeze or need for inhalers. Remission was more common among boys, they found.

"Sensitisation to furred animals and a more severe asthma at age 7 to 8 years were both inversely associated with remission," said study author Dr Martin Andersson, who is part of the Obstructive Lung Disease in Northern Sweden studies.

Still, even those allergic to furry animals with severe asthma at a young age had an 18% shot at remission, according to the study, published online July 29 in the journal Pediatrics.


As children with asthma grow into adulthood, many stop experiencing the shortness of breath and wheezing that characterise the chronic airway disease. Doctors will rarely say a child has outgrown asthma, because there's always the possibility it will come back if someone is exposed to significant enough asthma triggers. Instead, they refer to someone who hasn't had symptoms in a long time as being in remission.

The remission rate in young adults hasn't been well studied, and reported remission rates range from 16% to 60%, the researchers noted.

To get a better idea of the actual remission rate, Andersson and his colleagues reviewed data from a study begun in 1996 in three municipalities in northern Sweden to examine asthma and its associated conditions. First- and second-grade children were invited to participate in the study.

At the start of the study, 248 children were found to have asthma, 58% of them boys. The children's parents completed annual questionnaires until their children were 19. At the end of the study, 205 participants remained.

Remission was defined as parental report of no use of asthma medications in the previous 12 months on at least three annual surveys, including the final questionnaire. Persistent asthma was defined as having asthma symptoms or needing asthma medication in at least eight of nine previous questionnaires. Periodic asthma was defined as neither remission nor persistent asthma.


Overall, 21% were in remission, 38% had periodic asthma and 41% had persistent asthma. Out of 118 boys, about 26% were in remission compared to roughly 14% of 87 girls.

People whose asthma persisted were more likely to be allergic to cats, dogs, horses and birch trees at ages 7 to 8. The area where the children were from is a very dry climate, without dust mites, so the researchers noted that they were not able to assess how the common dust mite allergy might have affected asthma remission rates.

Those in remission and those with periodic asthma had similar reports of asthma severity, nasal inflammation and the skin condition eczema. Those who had persistent asthma had more severe asthma, experienced more nasal inflammation and eczema, according to the study.

Remission wasn't linked to damp housing, living in a rural area or a family history of asthma, according to the study.

Parents always want to know how long their children will have asthma, said Dr Jennifer Appleyard, chief of allergy and immunology at St John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit. "This study can give parents some hope, but there's no guarantee for any child," Appleyard said. "Really, the glass is half full. There's a good chance you'll outgrow it, but there's also a good chance you won't, especially if you have allergies, too."

What wasn't clear from this study, she said, was if certain treatments such as allergy shots might make a difference in whether or not someone goes into asthma remission.

What is known is that people who've had asthma are always potentially at risk. Even if you haven't had symptoms in a long time, Appleyard said you should play it safe and always have an inhaler available in case you suddenly develop symptoms. 

- Health24

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Cyril Mike Odhiz
Kenyans furious on young lady aft...

A young Kenyan woman is the talk of town after she posted a photo with her elderly lover after a round of steamy sex, or so the photo suggested.  Read more...

Submitted by
Kiplangat langat
Uhuru could be a one term Presid...

Bomet governor Isaac Ruto has said that President Uhuru Kenyatta could be a one term President if he fails to increase allocations to the counties. Read more...

Submitted by
Mody Sammy
35 year old farmer a new milliona...

A 35 year old farmer from Mpeketoni Lamu county has become the latest millionaire in town as she became winner in the ongoing ‘Shinda Mamili na Story Ibambe’. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Leave your past relationship bagg...

Leave your past relationship baggage at the door when you start a new relationship. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Advice from a young married Kenya...

I was just going to get water in the office kitchen and thought a simple hi was fine until I ended up in an hour long conversation with someone. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Helping you find the type of man ...

To put it simply, you can’t go looking for fish in a meat market; you have to go to a fish market. Read more...